If you watch the movie titled “Augustus, the First Emperor of Rome” (Youtube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jjdk1hLqF34,), which was acted brilliantly by Peter O’Toole (same actor for Lawrence of Arabia), which was started by the scene of Augustus on his death bed, and he said “Did I play my part well in this comedy called life? Was I just or cruel? Applause please” after that his wife put the mask of a smiling comedian over his face..and towards the end of the movie, the whole scene is repeated again, and he continues lamenting that “the price of long life seems to be lost”, and he asked his daughter the same question, and her answer is “the Gods will tell you father”. It was a very touching scene and it stuck with me for a long time thinking about the meaning of those words and scenes.
Life is indeed nothing more than an act, and worse still it can be seen as nothing more than a mere comedy!! And that is truly so, if we understand the meaning of life well.
Before we were even born, the script of life has been set (written) by God. When we will be born, what is our fate, when we will die and how we will die: all has been preordained, and we have no choice in making our own. as the Quran says all the events, fate, etc., has been written in “lauhil mahfudz” and written in the forms of “kitaabun maknun”. But then what is our role in the “act we called life”?
While the script has been written, and movie is being produced, the actor still needs to play his/her part. If you play it well, you will be rewarded and there upon and by which God will judge you. He will not judge you by being born as a male of female, as a Malay or a Chinese, born in 20th century instead of 14th century, and so on. And yet here most of failed. We failed to “act well” even the script has been pre-written and the rest being done. Such failure to perform, even in its easiest part, is the test for us.
People asked me: if all has been set, script has been written, we are only performing our act, why then we still should make dua and prayers, etc? My answer is: it is part of the acts that we supposed to do; and we need to pray and make supplications that we could do our “act” well. Even to do the acts, we need guidance and prayers. Why then we need to read al Quran? It is the “script” that is available in front of us, which is the most important reference, that was revealed to us through our Prophet Muhamad s.a.w.
How can we be a good actor if we don’t read the script (or truly scripture), that is in front of us? And what more about the script that is unseen?
if we understand that life is only an act, and in fact, if we understood well, is full of comedy; then life is not a burden upon us; rather, it is great blessing. But then, do we really understand it well? Even with such limited role, and obligations, we fail to see and understand it, and that’s why we are led astray.
And finally, the last question I would like to pose: when we die, who will we meet? The answer is: our “true self” and His Almighty Allah s.w.t. In another word, our whole “act” which we called “life” is nothing more than to finally know who we are, and off course our creator. That is the penultimate end to this act we called life.
May God bless us all.